#29 - F1 2018 GRAND PRIX HEINEKEN DU CANADA
Welcome to Montreal, to the Ile-de-Notre Dame, what a new F1 weekend it is going to be. Very much looking forward to this grand prix, the track layout is spectacular, constant overtaking opportunities and tons of potential surprises will occur. It is going to be epic.
Let us begin with a round of what is making headlines in the world of F1. How about we start with the present and work ourselves up until 2021.
F1 TV update, everything works perfectly fine now, the quality was full 1080p with audio commentary flawless. F1 have fixed everything and right now it is worth the money. Therefore, I recommend subscribing with the F1 Pro package to have full access to every on-board, stats and video for a full viewing experience. I will be viewing the whole F1 Canadian weekend on the platform.
Sauber have hired a new Chief Techinal Office from Ferrari. This move further enriches the partnership and making Sauber more and more a Ferrari "B" team. From my sources, Ferrari will eventually buy the whole of Sauber to become a 100% share-owner with the team be named simply Alfa Romeo F1 Team. The question is, when will that be effective?
Brandon Hartley (Toro Rosso driver from New Zealand) has been in the news, the rumors/news revolve around the fact that he will be replaced within this season, due to lack of performance. Rumors has that McLaren junior driver Lando Norris, was approached by Red Bull to replace Hartley. It wouldn't be the first time that Toro Rosso changes driver during the Season. Keep an eye out for him this weekend.
Red Bull have two more races (until the Austrian GP) to make a decision on which engine they will use in 2019. Will it be a Renault or Honda? Look at closely the performance of the Torro Roso over the next two races. Numerous analyst think that they will switch to a Honda powered engine. Their F1 Boss Cyril, states that within the next two years Renault will have a championship winning engine. Is that a bluff? Personally, I would maintain the momentum with a Renault powered engine and i am convinced with a good performance on high speed circuit as in Canada will justify my thoughts on staying loyal to Renault.
More news for 2019: New helmets will be introduced for the 2019 F1 Season. Costing 2’000£ per helmet (2’700$). A new iniative introduced by the FIA, in order to increase safety and in my opinion the cost. Twitter has already been all over the platform, showcasing their excitement to this news. Some even suggesting comically: since the safety of the helmet increases, can we remove the Halo then?
The last bit of news that is being discussed mainly by Liberty Media (owner of F1): replacing the current 13" F1 tyre rims by 18" for 2021 (when the new regulations will come into play). These rims are already present in the Formula E Championship. It certainly gives the cars a more futuristic look, at the moment I do not have more news in regards of the performance impact it would have on an F1 car. What we must bear in mind in such a move, is a potential attractiveness towards other tyre manufactures as Pirelli current contract to supply the whole F1 grid is set to end by 2020.
What are your thoughts on the news, on the new helmet for 2019 and the increase in size of the future F1 rims? Use the #projectmp to give me ur thoughts or on the chat directly when ur reading this article.
The Grand Prix Weekend
This is another one of those circuits that I love driving on. Its fast, few corners and the settings on this man-made island is spectacular. You might not tell, but this is another street circuit, similar to Melbourne. We come into this weekend, celebrating a milestone for a special driver.
Fernando Alonso will probably not win any trophies on the podium this weekend, but he will celebrate a new milestone in his career. This weekend marks the 300th race in F1, the statistical geeks will have a big debate about whether or not it is really his 300th GP. To keep the haters quiet, Fernando said: “If Fernando thinks it is, then it is”! This makes him the 3rd driver with the most appearances behind Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. If he stays in F1 next season (seems unlikely), he will become the F1 driver with the most appearances.
Power units are the main topic of discussion within the paddock and will play a key part during qualifying and the race. We are already in the 7th GP of the Season, this is the time where most of the teams are changing engines. These engines run on maximum capacity most of the time, over the course of the past 6 grand prix, an engine loses horse-power and becomes less reliable. The issue is that in F1 regulation, teams are allowed a maximum of 3 engines per season without receiving any penalities.
Therefore, Renault, Ferrari and Honda are all bringing a new upgraded engine to Canada. Except, for Mercedes, they delayed the introduction due to quality issue and prefer to wait for release it in two weeks’ time for the French GP. This means, the marginal power gain they had over Ferrari is gone, therefore in the straights they will have a big handicap. Ferrari fans you can start rejoicing for a potential Vettel or Kimi win.
Prophecy for the #CanadianGP
1. A very close fight between Ferrari and Red Bull, based on the last power circuit that was China, I will say Ferrari for the win, but by the tinniest margin. Of the last 15 Canadian Grands Prix, 8 have been won by a margin of less than 3 seconds. Don't forget in 2016 Daniel Ricciardo won his first ever race here, so he could once again be a surprise.
2. Strategy: as the pitlane is short, with a fast entry and exit, it is going to play between a 1 and 2 stop strategy. 2 stop with those gambling on the Hypersoft tyres. Bearing in mind that of the last 20 Canadian GPs, 12 have been interrupted by Safety Car periods
3. Qualfying note: Pole position does not guarantee success in Canada. Of the last 16 races held here, less than half (7) have been won from pole, with 4 being won from outside the top 5 .
Joker of the weekend: Lance Stroll home-race, I expect that he has the pressure of the crowd to have a good performance. However, with a unstable and reliable car, I am not confident of any Canadian miracle.
For the ultimate racing weekend, you can spend your afternoon watching Formula E which will be in Zurich, this will run from 14h until 19h (this includes qualifying and race). And then you switch to the F1 straight afterwards.